MEET OUR 2018 CHICAGO IL STARS WINNERS

Marcelino Mata – Maintenance Employee of the Year
The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago – Chief Engineer 
Working at The Westin Hotel Michigan Avenue for over 22 years, Marcelino has brought invaluable knowledge, kindness and care to his position as Chief Engineer. Always putting the hotel’s best interest forward, his technical knowledge shows in guest satisfaction, and his leadership skills show in yearly high employee engagement scores, the highest across the company in North America. Forging friendships and gaining the respect of his team and those in other departments has made him indispensable to the hotel community. His can-do attitude, open-door and friendly personality makes him approachable and helpful to all. If there’s a problem, he’s the guy running in to solve it—no matter the time, temperature or magnitude of the issue, Marcelino is there. The Westin is honored and privileged to work alongside Marcelino! 

Reginald “Reggie” Brown – Housekeeping Employee of the Year
JW Marriott Chicago – Housekeeper/Houseperson 
Reggie is a gentleman that wears many hats. As a leader in the Housekeeping Department at the JW Marriott Chicago, he is an expert at providing the top levels of customer service and taking care of his intern customers. He continues to excel at every position from being a Hotel Runner to Houseman. Recognized as inviting and caring, he is quick to greet every guest and can often be seen bringing delighters to a guest, like a cup of coffee, without being asked. Reggie is idolized by his peers due to this devotion to the JW Marriott and the housekeeping department. Always welcoming and forever innovative, Reggie is the epitome of a hotel superstar! 

 

Andrea Behrstock – Guest Services Employee of the Year
The Drake, a Hilton Hotel – Concierge 
Being a hotel concierge is not simply a job for Andrea, it is her lifestyle. She constantly takes ownership of every situation presented to her and works to find the perfect solution for guests. Often, these perfect solutions require attention beyond her scheduled shifts, and she works tirelessly to coordinate with other departments to ensure a flawless execution. This year, after two unexpected leaves of absence, Andrea came to the manager and offered to do whatever was needed to get through this period. Holding down the concierge desks solo for weeks and working up to 17 days in a row, Andrea never let a single guest go without feeling her smile and full enthusiasm. Andrea’s stellar customer service and teamwork is incredible, and The Drake community celebrates her accomplishments! 

Dominique Chandler – Food & Beverage Employee of the Year – Front of the House
Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection – Breakfast Server
Dominique Chandler is a Breakfast Server at Hotel EMC2 who continuously goes above and beyond to make sure service goes smoothly and that guests feel comfortable and welcomed. She remembers names, professions and even beverage preferences, ultimately creating amazing connections with people which have encouraged guests to spend extra days at the hotel just because of how wonderfully she treated them. She greets everyone with a smile and an upbeat and genuine “How are you doing today?” Even on the busiest days, she’s still smiling and demonstrating endless empathy towards others. Dominque is a Front of the House champion and the Hotel EMC2 celebrates her accomplishments! 

 

Emmanuel Williams – Food & Beverage Employee of the Year – Heart of the House
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile – Dishwasher/Steward
There are some people we look to for support, to lift our spirits, or even to be a model of behavior – Emmanuel Williams, a Steward at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is just that person. It’s incredible to watch him interact with everyone with such intuitive service and kindness – it’s contagious in a way that makes his “job” seem more like an art. Emmanuel embodies a sense of taking care of people that is inherent and present in everything he does. Often covering shifts when others are unable to come to work, his approach to his “craft” is so amazingly positive, even if he’s working his seventh day straight. What is most impressive is Emmanuel’s ability to show up to work every day like it’s the greatest day – he treats his coworkers like they’re family and handles his “work,” his “craft,” with enthusiasm, pride and unparalleled generosity. The Marriott community applauds Emmanuel’s dedication and passion! 

Angelica Garcia – First-Level Supervisor of the Year
Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile – Banquet Captain
Angelica began her career at the Hyatt Centric in March 2016. Currently, she is Captain in the Banquets department. Her passion for hospitality is very visible, adapting quickly to any situation and never seeming rushed, only patient, helpful and friendly. As a fast learner, Angelica has quickly become one of the “go-to” people in the department. She has an effortless talent in building lasting relationships, and this professionalism is demonstrated with endless care and attention. Angelica has incorporated the Hyatt Standards and Davidson Hotels & Resorts core values into her daily operations while teaching employees how to embrace and work by these values in every aspect of their jobs. With a never-ending smile and an award-winning attitude, Angelica is truly an invaluable member of the hotel community! 

Chris Lindo – Bell-Staff Employee of the Year 
The Drake, a Hilton Hotel – Bell Person 
As a true ambassador of The Drake, Chris has befriended generations of guests with those returning genuinely looking forward to seeing him each year. He goes so far and above his call of duty that guests cannot believe he is “simply a Bellman.” When at The Drake, Chris also takes on the role of part-time photographer as he takes photos of afternoon tea guests in front of the lobby floral arrangement, vocalist serenading a birthday girl in front of her guests, and personal cheerleader, providing heartfelt compliments to every guest he interacts with. He genuinely interacts with guests and always makes them feel like they are the most important person in the world. His ability to make guests feel at home is phenomenal, and his enthusiasm in his guest interactions is unwavering. As a true embodiment of the spirit of hospitality, The Drake recognizes and applauds his achievements! 

Corey Taylor – Administrative Employee of the Year
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago – Sales Administrative Assistant
Known for his outgoing personality and go-getter attitude, Corey is currently a Sales Administrative Assistant for the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Since starting in Sales, he has worn many hats supporting multiple managers across various departments. He’s an eager learner and jumps quickly into supportive roles. Nominated for Employee of the Month five times in six years and winning thrice, Corey is integral to the success of the hotel, and his peers support him fully. Outside of work, he assists with the Roger’s Park Association where he spends time helping the elderly in his neighborhood. Whether it’s helping them with groceries or just visiting, Corey is committed to giving back to his community.

 

Janice Teeter – Manager of the Year 
W Chicago - Lakeshore – Accounting Manager
Janice Teeter is an Accounting Manager at the W Chicago - Lakeshore and manages her team with knowledge, grace and understanding. A leader whose goal is to develop an atmosphere where her entire team can succeed, Janice takes on great responsibility and ensures everyone is well informed. Always thinking ahead, she actively looks for promotions and other deals, developing meaningful relationships with vendors that have ultimately benefited not only the property but fundraising events the hotel takes part in. The W Chicago - Lakeshore would be lost without her! 


 

Gabriel Ortega – Department/Division Head of the Year
Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North – Executive Chef
Executive Chef Gabriel Ortega has worked at the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North for over eight years. Always available to lend a helping hand to whoever needs his services, not only does he make things happen and accomplishes what needs to get done, but he does it with a bright smile and a great sense of humor. Chef Gabriel’s genuine approach and supportive character is well respected amongst his staff – the culinary team’s creativity, presentation and execution is a direct reflection of his leadership. Not only is he passionate about culinary pursuits within the hotel community, but Chef Gabriel also spends much of his time making a difference in his community. He volunteers his time and efforts as part of the foodservice team at the Newman’s Own Foundation by working with and assisting the camp for terminally ill children. Chef Gabriel demonstrates what community and service is all about, and the hotel community thanks him for all his hard work! 

Lisa Timbo – Hotelier of the Year 
JW Marriott Chicago – General Manager
Lisa Timbo is more than a General Manager at the JW Marriott Chicago. She understands and is able to balance the business, associates and guests of the business which is no easy feat. Approachable, personable and highly respected, she builds lasting relationships with hotel associates and guests alike. Recognizing that a hotel is only as good as its associates, she works with all departments to ensure everyone is working cohesively to bring the best hospitality to the community. Additionally, as a huge proponent of community service, Lisa participates in various charity events including the Children’s Miracle Network and Habitat for Humanity. Lisa has accomplished the fine art of mixing the warmth of hospitality with the practicality of the business – JW Marriot Chicago appreciates and thanks her for all her accomplishments! 





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